Another set of photos from Union Station this morning and afternoon; here is another set of photos from earlier. Click to see a larger version of a photo. All photos by Juan Ocampo for Metro.
A little warm weather on Saturday didn’t keep crowds at bay as thousands of people descended on Union Station for the building’s 75th anniversary celebration that featured live music, train exhibitions, speeches from dignitaries and a lot of folks who apparently wished it was 1939 all over again.
The above photos are just a small slice of today’s activities. Here are even more photos! Click on any of the above photos to see a larger version.
Here is the news release from Metro and Caltrans:
The draft environmental impact report/environmental impact statement (EIR/EIS) for the State Route 710 North Study will be released for public comment in February 2015, Metro and Caltrans announced today.
In response to community stakeholders who asked for additional time to consider the draft documents, the public review period also will be doubled from 45 to 90 days. Metro and Caltrans want to give the public ample opportunity to study and comment on the series of complex documents for addressing traffic and environmental impacts within east/northeast Los Angeles, the western San Gabriel Valley and the region generated by a 4 ½ mile gap in the original 710 Freeway design that exists between Alhambra and Pasadena.
The draft EIR/EIS will thoroughly analyze five alternatives – Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail Transit, Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management, a freeway tunnel, and a No Build option. Altogether, approximately 50 technical documents will thoroughly analyze traffic, noise, air quality, a health risk assessment, energy effects and other variables.
The data is being processed through a regional travel demand model that predicts future (2035) traffic through analysis of projected travel patterns considering such factors as population and employment growth, goods movement, land use changes and other variables.
Metro and Caltrans are fully committed to ensure that the public has a voice in the process. Detailed analysis for each alternative will be incorporated in the SR 710 North Study draft EIR/EIS. For updates on the revised schedule and project background, go to metro.net/sr710study or facebook.com/sr710study or follow on Twitter @sr710study.
If you’re visiting Union Station on Saturday for the 75th anniversary festivities, please check out the new Metro Information Tower that looks a little like the monolith in “2001: A Space Odyssey” but doesn’t leave you guessing about its purpose in life.
The 17-foot tall interactive kiosk in the Union Station East Portal – there’s only one up and running so far but other, smaller demo kiosks will be around Union Station tomorrow — just might turn out to be your go-to travel tool. Please see the video posted below.
Touchscreen displays include a station guide, a timeline of Union Station history, nearby Metro Destination Discounts that are available to TAP card holders, Nextrip real-time arrivals, the Metro Trip Planner, Metro transit schedules and maps and variable options this weekend including Instagram uploads of Union Station photos hash-tagged with #LAUS75.
On May 3, the demo kiosk near the Information Booth in Union Station will run the only known footage of the 1939 Union Station opening. It was shot by famed Jiminy Cricket animator Ward Kimball.
Metro is also planning to install more touchscreen displays in the future at other Metro Rail stations as part of the Interactive Kiosk Pilot Program.
On Wednesday May 7, 2014, at 6 a.m., Metro will latch the Avalon station of the Metro Green Line.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) will provide advance notification and customer assistance at the station from Monday, May 5th through Tuesday May 6th between the hours of 6 and 9 a.m. and 3 and 6 p.m.
Metro plans to latch the four remaining Green Line Stations by the end of this month. All Red/Purple, Blue and Gold Line stations equipped with gates are now latched. Once all latching is completed, 40 of 80 rail stations will be latched; Metro staff are studying whether to add gates at some existing and future rail stations.
Once gates are latched, turnstiles will not allow a rider to enter the station unless a TAP card with an appropriate fare has been tapped at the gate.
Here’s something different: Zocalo Public Square is holding a forum next Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. at MOCA on the 710 freeway gap and regional mobility issues.
Of course, the ongoing SR-710 project is looking at the same issue with five alternatives under consideration: a freeway tunnel, light rail, bus rapid transit, traffic signal and intersection improvements and the legally-required no-build option. The project is funded with $780 million from the Measure R sales tax increase approved by L.A. County voters in 2008 — a lot of money but not enough for some of the more expensive options.
Here is a description on the forum from the Zocalo website:
The 710 is one of the most important freeways in Southern California. It’s also shorter than originally planned: For nearly 50 years, legal and environmental challenges have stalled the freeway in Alhambra, 4.5 miles short of its intended destination, Pasadena. Over the decades, discussions about extending the freeway have cast its future as a local issue. But the 710 causes traffic, produces pollution, and affects commerce across Los Angeles and even beyond. How broad are these impacts, and what role might the stalled extension play in them? What would the five options now being debated for dealing with the Alhambra-to-Pasadena gap–implementing new surface traffic technology and strategies, new rapid bus transit, light rail transit, a freeway tunnel, or building nothing at all–mean for our region? UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies directorBrian Taylor, Clean Tech Advocates senior advisor and former California Environment Secretary Linda S. Adams, L.A. Chamber of Commerce president Gary Toebben, and Southern California Association of Governments executive director Hasan Ikhrata visit Zócalo to discuss what these proposals mean for all of us.
The forum is hosted by NBC-4 reporter Conan Nolan.
The forum is free. Click here to make a reservation. MOCA is located at 250 S. Grand Street and is a short walk (although uphill) from the Metro Red/Purple Line’s Civic Center station or via numerous Metro bus lines, including the Silver Line and Lines 70, 71, 76, 78, 79, 96 and 378. For those driving, there are numerous lots in the area and parking is $9 at Disney Hall.
Metro is expected to soon announce the release date of the draft environment study for the project. Click here to visit the project’s home page on the Metro website.
Here is the news release from Metro and the proposed budget is above:
A public hearing is set for 1 p.m. on May 14, 2014 to hear comment on Metro’s proposed balanced $5.508 billion Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) budget, set to begin July 1, 2014. The proposed budget includes continued commitment to the largest highway and rail building program in America, bus headway improvements and $283.4 million in maintenance expenditures to keep the system in top form.
The public hearing will take place during the regularly scheduled meeting of the Metro Board Finance Committee at the Metro Board Room, 1 Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles. The public can view copies of the balanced budget proposal at www.metro.net/fy15proposed or request a copy from the Metro Records Management Center at RMC@metro.net.
The draft FY15 budget enhances many services while keeping fares at low levels, however, a decision on a proposed fare increase to eliminate a projected $36.8 million operating budget deficit by Fiscal Year 2017 is pending the May 22 Metro Board meeting.
As part of the $283.4 million targeted at maintenance, Metro will spend $192.7 million on bus service including the purchase of 550 new clean-burning CNG buses and about $50 million for rail improvements on the Blue Line and the Red Line subway in the next fiscal year.
Safety is critical to Metro passengers and the FY15 budget contains $48.7 million to keep the system as safe as possible. Enhancements include improvements to cameras and video monitoring, security kiosks are various rail stations, signal system rehabilitation on the Metro Blue and Green lines and pedestrian safety improvements on the Metro Red Line with an underpass and overpass bridge planned for Universal City and North Hollywood stations.
Metro continues construction on the most comprehensive public works program in America with Measure R and other funding sources. In FY15, Metro will have five major rail projects either under construction or prepared to begin including the Metro Gold Line extension to Azusa, the Metro Expo Line extension to Santa Monica, the Crenshaw/LAX Line and the Regional Connector. The Metro Purple Line extension to Westwood has cleared major legal hurdles and is expected to receive a federal full funding grant agreement by mid-May.
In terms of highway projects, the mammoth undertaking of modernizing and expanding capacity of the I-405 will be completed in FY15 and other projects are moving forward including I-5 widening from Orange County to the I-605, the I-710 South Corridor, the North SR-710 study and a variety of other improvements including continuation of countywide sound wall construction and the Freeway Beautification Pilot Project designed maintain landscape and remove graffiti and debris.
The Metro ExpressLanes Project continues to provide travel options on the I-10 and I-110 freeways with future expansion of ExpressLanes to be studied. The Kenneth Hahn Countywide Callbox System continues operation along with development of the Motorist Aid and Travel Information System (MATIS).
Metro will continue to contribute both operations and capital funding to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority with FY15 capital projects including the Bob Hope Airport/Hollywood Way station, Van Nuys Second Platform, Vincent Grade/Acton and Lancaster Stations, Doran Street Crossing design, Raymer to Bernson Double Track and Southern California Regional Interconnectivity Program (SCRIP), which will increase Union Station Capacity.